Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


ETS Losses Confirmed - Groser Has Explaining To Do

ETS Losses Confirmed - Groser Has Explaining To Do

Sustainability Council Media Statement – 7 November 2012


New documents confirm the ETS has been a net loser for the taxpayer and that the government faces a big deficit in its carbon accounts, contrary to the Climate Change Minister’s denial.

Documents also show that Tim Groser and two other ministers are so keen to play down this inconvenient truth that they requested officials to consider whether the ETS accounts could be changed so that such losses would not form part of the government’s financial statements in future.

Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee sought updated figures on the ETS as part of its consideration of a Bill that would all but gut the scheme. These updated estimates were requested following a Sustainability Council submission that urged the committee to obtain them.

Documents presented to the committee estimate the ETS will be 76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in deficit by the end of this year – the total for the first five years of its operation.

These documents also show a credit of 22 million tonnes for the same period resulting from obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. After allowing for this credit, officials report that there is an overall deficit on the government’s carbon accounts of 54 million tonnes for the period from 2008 to 2012.

That is essentially the same figure the Sustainability Council first exposed on September 13 and which the Climate Change Minister then denied on Morning Report. Rather than it being the Sustainability Council that has “got it completely wrong” as he claimed, it is Tim Groser who has some explaining to do.

He has also to explain what the basis is for ministers asking officials to report on “whether ETS units should still be valued in the Crown’s financial statements”. Translated, that means ministers are asking whether local carbon credits given away by the government as corporate welfare and compensation need to be shown as a cost to the taxpayer.

The government has systematically suppressed detail on the ETS accounts so that this very complex scheme is harder still to monitor. It is breathtaking that ministers would ask officials to consider not valuing something that when given away means the recipient no longer needs to pay tax. Such gifts must be recorded as costs to the taxpayer, in line with generally agreed accounting practice.

The government’s current debt of 54 million tonnes of carbon is worth $325 million at the price of $6/tonne that officials used to value it in the estimates presented to Parliament. The debt is $1.3 billion at the $25/tonne price the government uses to consider policy options under the ETS. As this deficit will be paid off at future prices, it is analytically more appropriate to use a forecast future price when assessing its value, and this could be much higher than $25/t.

Carbon budgeting is the route to serious emission reductions. This is the approach the UK is following and it still involves pricing emissions but the emphasis is on working out practical options for cutting carbon and then setting limits on the total volume of emissions for the country over a particular period. It truly caps emissions and maximises the opportunities for funds to be spent in New Zealand.


For full media statement and references see:
http://www.sustainabilitynz.org/docs/ETSLossesConfirmedNovember2012.pdf


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences.

Such is the power of the economic orthodoxy that when opposition parties arise – say, in the shape of the Greens – their “credibility” is measured by the extent to which they give the appearance of learning and abiding by the ruling consensus.

The tension between the desire for change – and the inability of the current political framework to deliver it – creates openings for populists of all stripes. It is what has made the emergence of Internet Mana so interesting. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news